Charles Barkley was a tough guy on the court, stronger than any other 6’4″ish man in the vicinity and fond of banging in the paint. So if anyone is going to criticize the Warriors pristine (and winning) style as friction-free, Barkley is a good candidate. Maybe Barkley didn’t need to call the Warriors style “girly” — an antique critique that makes him sound like a dinosaur. But his point that current elite NBA teams don’t play like the bangers in his era is accurate.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows Barkley means it when he says the speedy, long-range-gunning Warriors style doesn’t suit his taste. But Kerr also knows Barkley makes a living stirring up controversy on TV. Kerr recognizes that Barkley can’t just praise the Warriors — what kind of show would that make? If he doesn’t say things like “Golden State plays like a girl” people might stop tuning in. We want to be titillated, not educated. Talking to the Warriors Insider Podcast, Kerr explained:
“Having worked with Charles in TV, for TNT, I understand that there’s a show that has to happen. There’s an entertainment value that he brings that nobody else can bring. And I think Charles is hilarious. I think he’s really good at what he does. I think he goes overboard with his criticism of us. You know, everybody in the league is basically doing what we’re doing. I mean, Cleveland takes more threes than we do.”